2015 AQHYA World Show

July 31-August 8, 2015
Oklahoma City

2012 Youth World

Hunt Seat Equitation

Parris Rice brings the gold trophy home one more time in hunt seat equitation.

For the third time, Parris Rice, from Snohomish, Washington, has won the world championship in hunt seat equitation at the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

“It’s my last year (to show as a youth rider),” Parris said August 9. “I would have been happy in the top three, but to win my last year and to bring the gold trophy home one more time was just a great feeling.”

For Parris and her horse, Javah Mon, aka “Willy,” that gold trophy is just one more sparkling milestone in a 13-year partnership.

“(Willy) is a ham,” Parris said with a laugh. “But he is a really good boy. He loves his job, and he’s been there for me for 13 years. We bought him when he was 1 (year old), and he’s my best friend. I can count on him, and he knows when it’s time to show up.”

Bred by Jan and Norm MacKenzie of Sharpsburg, Georgia, Willy is a 1998 bay gelding by Triples Crown Jewel and out of Hollies Big Leaguer by Im A Big Leaguer. He is owned by Parris’ mother, Carolyn Rice of Somis, California.

Parris and Willy were first in the class under all five judges, resulting in a unanimous nod to a great ride.

“I felt good, warming up (for the class),” Parris said. “It was basically for me just a matter of going in and getting it done. At this point, I’ve won this event twice before, and I’ve been fifth twice. Nobody was going to take that away from me, so I figured I might as well just leave it all out there.”

During the first half of the rail work, competitors were asked to ride without stirrups at the sitting trot, posting trot, canter and walk.

In previous years, hunt seat equitation competitors have spent the entire rail work portion of the class without stirrups, so Parris wasn’t too surprised. In the course of her journey to the 2012 Ford Youth World, she prepared for that kind of work with “strength training (and) a lot of it,” and advised future competitors to “start (your strength training) early.”

As the daughter of a farrier and a horse trainer, Parris grew up in the horse world and intends to stay there for as long as possible. This is her last time to compete at the Ford Youth World, but she plans to continue riding and to show as an amateur next year. As for Willy, “he’ll grow old with me,” Parris said.

In saying goodbye to her eighth and last year at the Ford Youth World, Parris wanted to thank “everybody who’s gone on these trips with me for as long as I can remember.”

“My mom has hauled me everywhere, and (AQHA Professional Horseman Robin Frid) and his wife, Jenny, have made a world of difference to me. It’s just been amazing – this whole journey.”

2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA Hunt Seat Equitation World Champions Parris Rice and Javah Mon

Parris Rice and Javah Mon won the hunt seat equitation world championship in the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)